Fri | Jun 5, 2020

Gunman unleashes terror on birthday party - Craig Town relives horror as two kids killed, five others injured

Published:Monday | April 27, 2020 | 12:20 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Annette Drummond (left) is supported by Dorrett Robinson, grandmother of Annette’s slain son, Allan Thompson, as she walks along Clarence Road in Craig Town on Saturday. Allan was one of two teenagers killed in a mass shooting in the community.
Annette Drummond (left) is supported by Dorrett Robinson, grandmother of Annette’s slain son, Allan Thompson, as she walks along Clarence Road in Craig Town on Saturday. Allan was one of two teenagers killed in a mass shooting in the community.

As she willed her near-powerless legs to move while being accompanied home by relatives on Saturday afternoon, Annett Drummond was a crude caricature of frailty and grief.

The distraught woman was speechless after trying to identify the body of her 15-year-old son at the Tranquillity Funeral Home nearby. She said she fainted, forcing a relative to face up to the pain.

Her son, Allan Thompson, was among about 10 children gathered in a yard on Clarence Road, Craig Town, celebrating the birthday of a friend hours earlier when a lone gunman opened fire, killing Thompson and 17-year-old Javaugn Christie, both from the community.

An adult and four other children were injured in the mass shooting.

Among the survivors were a six-year-old boy who sustained gunshot wounds to the right foot and four others aged 15 to 18. The seven were taken to the Kingston Public Hospital.

The gunman escaped on foot.

On Saturday, Drummond massaged her belly repeatedly in a bid to somehow soothe the pain caused by Allan’s murder. She tried to summon words to capture her loss. But none could come.

SLEEPLESS NIGHT

But a day later, when her rage eased, Drummond revealed that she had endured a sleepless night mourning her son.

“It hard!” she told The Gleaner.

“From Saturday, mi eye nuh close. Mi just a walk up and down like seh mi mad. I don’t know how somebody could do that,” she said Sunday afternoon.

Jerome Stewart, a cousin of one of the injured seven, said that the children were having fun when rapid gunfire sent them scampering all over the yard. He had been watching TV when the tragedy unfolded.

“When mi look, mi see a gun a come round di corner. One a di youth phone flick out a him hand. One of them died under the elder bed next door,” Stewart said.

When they pulled him from under the bed, he was already dead.

Craig Town has been experiencing periodic violent friction, residents say, referring to spats like “a just friend a kill friend”.

South St Andrew Member of Parliament Mark Golding described the killing of the two teenagers as “an act of depraved violence”. He offered condolences to the families, adding that the community had been left traumatised.

Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang also condemned the murders, calling on Jamaicans “to put an end to violent crimes and murder sprees”.

“As a society, we need to embrace a collaborative strategy and make greater efforts to prevent conflict and promote peace and non-violence within our communities,” Chang said.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com